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th-1More than half of U.S. consumers (mistakenly) believe that carrying credit card balances will help improve their credit scores.

It won’t. It won’t. It won’t!

Yet according to the 2016 Capital One Credit Confidence Study, 52 percent of us still think it will. The study also mentioned a new (to me) credit score myth, one that’s believed by about the same number of people.

 


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thI’m heading to Phoenix for the holidays. Wanna have coffee?

Usually I try to organize a meet-up whenever I visit my daughter. This time around I plan two such get-togethers:

Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to noon

Saturday, Dec. 31, from noon to 3 p.m.

(Note: Originally I’d said “9 a.m. to noon.” But that was before I realized/remembered that the restaurant doesn’t open until half an hour after that. D’oh!)

Yep, both times can be awkward: the Wednesday one because working folk may not be able to make it, and the Saturday one because New Year’s Eve. Still, I can offer two good reasons to be there.

 


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thMy pay-as-you-go flip phone regularly receives calls from numbers I don’t recognize. For a while I’d pick up any that began with 206 or 425; having lived in Seattle for eight years I figured it might be an old acquaintance or former classmate.

Each time, though, it was a robonotification about a great deal on a credit card, vacation or something else I didn’t need. Nowadays I don’t pick up, and guess what? Those unknown callers never leave messages!

I’m not alone in feeling pestered. Phone-spam victims received an average of 118 sales-pitchy or downright fraudulent calls this year, according to a new study from Hiya, a free caller ID/call-blocker app.

And there’s no place like your phone for holiday fraud. Seasonal scams are up by 113 percent over last year, the study notes.

Among them:

 


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thSome people are into experiences rather than gifts. Physical presents take up space and need to be dusted, whereas a massage or a theater ticket is a one-and-done event.

I suggest that a personal finance book is both a gift and an experience. Sure, it takes up a little space – but it can lead to life-altering changes and literal enrichment. And if you get the Kindle or PDF version, it doesn’t take up any room in your domicile.

When you give the gift of personal finance, you’re giving people tools that can get them out of current money troubles and/or help them build the lives they want. Doesn’t that beat the heck out of a scented candle or a cheese log?

 


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thSorry to have maintained radio silence lately. In the past week I’ve had one of those not-terribly-serious yet still life-sucking viruses.

The sinus-y kind that makes your head ache and your nose and eyes itch. The throat-y kind that makes it unpleasant even to sip water. The malaise-y kind that makes you want to lie down a lot, except that you can’t really get comfortable.

Blech.

Since during that time I’ve also been writing for pay and working on the sequel to “Your Playbook For Tough Times,” I haven’t had the brainwidth to come up with something thrilling for this blog.

However, I do have a few things to share. To wit:

 


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